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Solar Panels in Calaveras County, CA

Installing Solar Panels in Calaveras County, California: Costs & More

Key Points

  • As of 2023, solar panels in Calaveras County cost approximately $2.86/W
  • Installation costs range from $12,155 to $16,445 for an average 5 kW system (after federal tax credit deductions are applied)
  • Solar systems pay for themselves within 9 to 12 years
  • Factors that may influence installation costs include panel type (thin film vs crystalline), brand & efficiency level

Going Green in Calaveras County

Solar energy offers multiple benefits to homes and businesses in Calaveras County, California. The county has an annual average of 259 days of sunshine, almost 20% higher than the national average (205). Abundant sunshine and favorable laws strengthen the reason for going solar.

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How much do Solar Panels cost in Calaveras County, CA?

In Calaveras County, the cost of a solar panel is $2.86/W (as of 2023). A typical solar installation in Calaveras County, California costs between $12,155 and $16,445, with the average gross price for solar in Calaveras County, California, coming in at $14,300 (given a solar panel system size of 5 KW).

The net cost of going solar can decrease by thousands of dollars once the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives are taken into account.

Energy System Size Solar Panel Cost Cost After Credit
3 kW $8,580 $6,349
4 kW $11,440 $8,466
5 kW $14,300 $10,582
6 kW $17,160 $12,698
7 kW $20,020 $14,815
8 kW $22,880 $16,931
9 kW $25,740 $19,048
10 kW $28,600 $21,164
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How Long Does it Take for Solar Panels to Pay for themselves in Calaveras County?

Solar panels typically pay for themselves within nine to twelve years. Most systems require very little maintenance for the remainder of their 25+ year lifespan once installed. Solar installations may be done without or without a storage battery.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Calaveras County, California?

In California, the average cost of a home solar panel system is $14,250, or roughly $2.85 per watt. The exact cost of a solar installation is determined by a range of factors, such as the size of the system, the types of solar panels and the installation cost.

Type of Panel

Better panels generate more energy with greater efficiency, saving you more money over a longer period of time. However, the upfront cost might be higher. Thin film solar panels are less expensive than crystalline ones but have lower solar efficiency and are less durable.

Brand of Panel and Solar Equipment

The size of the system you require is one of the key elements in determining the cost of solar panels in Calaveras County, CA. Solar systems are measured in kW and are primarily based on the energy consumption of your home, which you can determine by reviewing previous energy bills.

Generally, for every extra kilowatt you require, your overall cost may rise by about $2,730. The price of your solar system can vary significantly depending on the brand and type of equipment you choose.

Levelized Cost of Energy

A metric used to compare the cost-effectiveness of various electricity-generating technologies is the levelized cost of electricity or energy generation (LCOE). It speaks of the typical cost of constructing and operating a power plant as a percentage of the facility's lifetime power output. The utility scale solar PV's global levelized cost of electricity ranges from $30 - $180 per megawatt hour.

Price Per Watt

After accounting for the federal solar tax credit, the average cost of a solar panel installation in 2023 will be between $16,870 and $23,170, with a typical solar installation costing about $20,020. The Center for Sustainable Energy also estimates that solar panel costs typically range from $3 to $5 per watt or $15,000 to $20,000 for a typical 5 kW system.

Installation Company

The installer you select is the last significant cost factor to consider. Smaller businesses might be more affordable overall even though they might not have access to particular equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra services like installing electric vehicle chargers.

What are the Incentives for Solar energy in Calaveras County, California?

Although there is currently no county-specific solar credit in Calaveras County, California, there are numerous regional incentives and rebates. Some of these include.

California Solar Initiative - Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program

SASH is a fund that aids in financing the installation of solar panels on affordable housing. For every kW of solar energy installed, eligible low-income homeowners who receive their electricity from PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E may be eligible for financial incentives.

California Federal Solar Tax Credit

Like every other state, Calaveras County, California is eligible for the federal solar tax credit of 26% on new solar panel installations. Your annual income tax credit is adjusted to include this credit. Homeowners who meet the requirements and install solar panels on their homes may be eligible for a tax credit of up to 30% of the system's cost.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

Many areas of the Golden State offer IRA rebate programs to homeowners, and Calaveras County is no exception. The IRA bill's Section 13103 increases the tax credit for solar and wind facilities that are connected to low-income neighborhoods.

Additionally, eligible systems in "energy communities," which can include places with higher-than-average unemployment rates, are given bonus ITC or PTC credits. Solar buyers who qualify for these rebates could receive anywhere from $300 in total to $0.95 per installed watt of capacity.

Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion

Solar panel installations are exempt from property taxes on the increase in home value caused by a rooftop solar array in Calaveras County, California. 100% of the assessed value of the solar system is exempt from the homeowner's property taxes under the Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems.

Equity Resilience Incentives

The Equity Resiliency rebate, a further incentive provided by the SGIP program, lowers the price of energy storage equipment. This is applicable to homeowners who have experienced Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) events twice or more, as well as those who live in high-risk fire areas and low-income households.

Owners of vital infrastructure, such as electric well pumps that provide services to the affected areas, are also covered by equity resilience. If you fit any of these criteria, you are eligible for a $1,000 per kWh rebate, which covers almost the entire cost of the majority of energy storage installations.

Active Solar Energy System Exclusion

By implementing a solar energy system, you can increase the value of your home without worrying about your property taxes going up. Currently, 2025 is the estimated end date.

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Refund for the purchase and installation of a solar battery and rooftop panel system. (Different depending on utility and battery storage capacity)

How can I Sell Solar Energy in Calaveras County, California?

Net Energy metering allows homeowners to sell any extra electricity produced from solar panels to a utility company in exchange for credits that can be used to offset any grid electricity used. The retail rate, or the price you pay for electricity, is used to calculate the credit. When going solar, your meter might need to be upgraded, but only one meter is needed to track this.

To benefit from net metering, a home must be connected to the grid.

NetMetering 3.0

NEM 3.0, a new net metering policy, was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2022. Customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E who have solar systems will receive an average of 8 cents per kWh in compensation for the extra power they export to the grid under NEM 3.0.

This is roughly 75% less than the typical export rate under NEM 2.0, which was 30 cents per kWh. IOU customers have until April 13, 2023 to submit a complete interconnection application for a new solar system in order to be grandfathered into NEM 2.0. Californians have many reasons to go solar sooner rather than later, even though the federal solar tax credit is back at 30% until 2032.

Are Tesla Solar Panels Available in Calaveras County, California?

The Tesla Solar Roof is less expensive than purchasing a roof and solar panels separately. According to Tesla, a 10-kilowatt roof will run about $33,950 in Calaveras County, California, or $5.60 per square foot or $2.11 per watt.

According to Tesla, this is less expensive than spending $54,647 on solar panels that need to be retrofitted and a premium roof ($34,091 at $11.92 per square foot and $2.05 per watt).

In order to set up your solar roof, you need to locate and contact the nearest Tesla Certified Installer. If Tesla does not offer installation in your area, you can reach out to their Certified Solar Roof Installers who are skilled in the installation of solar roofs. These are contractors who abide by stringent quality, permitting and inspection standards.

Do You Need a Handyman or a Solar Installer in Calaveras County?

Yes, hiring a certified Handyman or professional Solar Installer who uses high-quality solar panels and has experience installing solar is the best way to go about it. Also, the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy advises hiring a pro to perform installations.

The advantages of hiring nearby solar installers are listed below:

1. Understanding of laws, policies, and regulations

Local solar installation companies are more knowledgeable about your region's building codes, city ordinances, local utility information, and solar policies.

Due to the strong winds, some cities in Calaveras County, California, have specific laws. For instance, the city of Ontario has a 2-inch setback requirement. The purpose of this specific building regulation is to lessen the effect that wind will have on your solar panels. Going solar will be quicker, safer, and simpler if you select a local expert rather than a national solar company that covers a wide area.

2. Communication and Client-Facing

The likelihood of local solar companies in your area visiting your home or place of business to determine whether going solar makes sense is higher. Large, national solar companies are compelled more by hitting sales targets than by catering to your needs. National solar companies only offer a small selection of services.

Additionally, the process will be made more difficult if your home has any special problems or demands. Local solar companies frequently offer much better support, communication, and responsiveness. Working with a local solar company will help you have a more personalized and communicative solar installation experience.

3. Local businesses offer full service, from installation to repair

Receiving assistance after installation is one of the biggest complaints when working with large, national solar companies. Local solar businesses have solar repair engineers, customer service representatives, and installation staff on staff. This re-establishes a direct line of communication between solar customers and the contractor.

4. Impact on the Local Community is an item

Supporting a local, small business is a huge advantage of choosing a local solar company. You can advance the well-being of your community by encouraging a small business there to expand. You will spend less on electricity after going solar.

The savings from switching to solar power can be put toward other home improvement initiatives. The best part is that you will be helping a local business that is actively reducing carbon emissions.

5. Reasonably priced solar installation and upfront costs

Finding a solar installer who will maximize your savings is undoubtedly one of the most important factors for you as a customer when selecting a local solar installation business. Asking about pricing is crucial when choosing a local solar company to install panels on your house. A few businesses will provide "Free Solar consultation."

You should choose a solar installation company that is upfront about costs. They should never add an extra service or fee without asking you first. Most homeowners' main gripe with going solar is that their prices change after they sign the contract.

Ask what they are doing, how much it will cost, and for a formal proposal before the work is completed. This will assist you in locating a local solar installer who is both reasonable and trustworthy.

What Solar Financing Options are Available to Me in Calaveras County, CA?

There are various solar panel financing options to help you achieve your solar goals, including loans, leases, and purchase agreements.

What is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?

In a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA), the homeowner agrees to install a photovoltaic (PV) system on its property and buys the system's electricity from the solar services provider for a set period of time. A third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the PV system.

The solar services provider or another party gains valuable financial advantages, such as tax credits and income from the sale of electricity. While the homeowner is able to receive consistent and frequently affordable electricity.

What are Solar Loans?

A loan obtained for the purpose of buying and installing solar panels is known as a solar loan. They give homeowners a way to purchase a solar panel system without having to pay a sizable upfront sum. Numerous solar loan providers provide zero-down solar loans as well as early loan repayment options without incurring penalties.

Solar loans are frequently regarded as a subset of loans for home improvement. As a result, they are offered a wide range of payment plans, terms, and rates. Solar loans appeal to homeowners because installing solar panels immediately reduces their utility costs. The money saved on bills can then be applied to the loan's monthly payment.

Although solar loans are practical, they generally provide a lower financial return than solar panel systems bought with cash.

What are Solar Leases?

A solar lease is a contract that allows you to access solar electricity without actually owning a solar system, similar to a car lease. With a solar lease, a business will put a solar power system on your house and then bill you a monthly fee to take the place of your utility bill for electricity.

The typical length of solar lease contracts is 20 or 25 years, with an escalator that raises the monthly payment each year. Because there are no upfront costs and immediate energy savings, solar leases can be alluring. Additionally, you get to contribute your roof to the fantastic cause of creating clean energy.

The lifetime savings of a solar lease, it should be noted, are significantly lower than those of buying and owning a solar system.

Do Solar Panels Increase a Home Value in Calaveras County?

Yes. According to recent solar research conducted by Zillow, installing solar panels in a home can potentially increase the home's value by up to 4.1% more than comparable homes without solar panels — or an additional $9,274 for the median-valued home in the U.S.

Also, according to an older study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, installing solar energy increases a home's resale value by about $5,911 per kilowatt. Not to mention that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory also stated that switching to solar will increase the value of your home by about $20 for every $1 you save on your electrical bill.

The biggest factor that influences how a solar panel will affect the value of your home is its location. California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oregon are the states with the highest demand for solar panels. There is a good chance that solar panels will raise the value of your home if you reside in one of these areas.

Local energy prices, the price of installing solar panels, the frequency of power outages in your area, and the age of your solar panel are additional considerations.

Are Solar Panels Exempt from Property Taxes in Calaveras County?

Yes. Since 1980, California has protected homeowners from paying property taxes when they install solar power systems on their homes. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on September 18 extending the exclusion until 2026 and praising it as an essential step toward the state's objective of using only clean energy by the year 2045.

In the event that homeowners choose to install an active solar energy system, the exclusion protects them from rising property taxes. What exactly is protected by the exclusion? The exclusion applies to new active solar energy systems because the state wants to increase the use of solar energy.

Solar devices that are thermally isolated from the house are used in active solar energy systems, such as rooftop solar panels, to collect, store, or distribute solar energy.

How to Find Solar Companies Near Me in Calaveras County, California?

You can find out which verified solar installation companies are offering solar services close to your zip code using a Solar Review search tool and read what other solar customers have to say about them. Here are some additional methods for locating and getting in touch with local solar installers:

  • Consult with family and neighbors.

Speak with the locals in your area to learn more about any local business. If your neighbors have solar panels, it's likely that they have a connection to a nearby installation business and can share some knowledge about their experience.

  • Check local government websites

Numerous government websites offer resources for clean energy options, including advice on how to install solar panels and the businesses to contact. Local governments are motivated to help out small, regional businesses. Check out the solar installers that they recommend if your local government is a reliable source.

  • Consult with local experts

You can frequently find out about some reputable local installer options from your electrician or a home construction or renovation company. Solar panel installations involve both structural and electrical home systems. Local solar installers are available to whom they frequently refer their clients, and local home professionals are frequently connected to other nearby specialists.

What Energy Companies offer Solar Rebates in Calaveras County, California?

Net energy metering (NEM) programs are provided by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and other California utility companies. You might be able to receive credits on your electric bill from these NEM programs for any excess solar energy you generate.

Calaveras County Statistics

According to census estimates, in 2020, Calaveras County is home to approximately 45,828 residents with a median age of 52.8 and a median household income of $67,054. The county saw population growth from 2019 to 2020 of 0.69%, from 45,514 to 45,828, and 6.17%, from $63,158 to $67,054 in median household income.

The homeownership rate in Calaveras County, California in 2020 was 79.6%, and the median property value was $340,000.